August 19, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie (17) warms up on the field before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The countdown to NFL Kickoff 2013 continues with 17 days remaining until Week 1. Today’s edition honors Austin Collie, who spent four seasons with the Colts before signing with the San Francisco 49ers this past offseason.
Drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 draft, the wide receiver out of BYU helped the Colts reach the Super Bowl by finishing among the top statistical leaders for rookie wide receivers with 60 catches and seven touchdowns.
His second season was marked by concussions, which would plague him for the rest of his tenure with the team. He suffered his first concussion in Week 9 against Philadelphia, which would sideline him until Week 15. Collie suffered another concussion in his return against Jacksonville, effectively ending his 2010 season.
As Peyton Manning missed the entire 2011 season with a neck injury, Collie stayed concussion-free and played in all 16 games while making five starts. In large part due to Manning’s absence, however, Collie recorded career lows in receptions, yards and touchdowns.
Collie looked to rebound in 2012 but suffered his third career concussion in the preseason. He remained out until Week 3, at which point he suffered another season-ending injury, this time to his right knee. The injury effectively ended his tenure with the Colts as he would not be re-signed after the season.
Collie signed a one-year deal with the 49ers on Aug. 2, but he is worthy of praise in today’s Countdown to Kickoff.
#17 Honorable Mentions
1. Hunter Smith (1999-2008): The Colts drafted Smith as a punter out of Notre Dame in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft. In ten years with the Colts, he was a three-time Pro Bowl alternate and earned a ring in Super Bowl XLI. A fan-favorite, Smith signed with the Washington Redskins in 2009 and retired after the 2010 season.
2. Chris Gardocki (1995-1998): As a punter, Gardocki joined the NFL in 1991 with the Chicago Bears. Best known as a Colt, he played in 244 career games and was voted to the 1996 Pro Bowl. He helped the Steelers win Super Bowl XL before retiring in 2006.
Countdown To Kickoff Archive
Aug 21: Peyton Manning
Aug 22: Austin Collie
Aug 23: Ryan Leaf
Aug 24: LaVon Brazill
Aug 26: T.Y. Hilton
Aug 27: Andrew Luck
Aug 28: Donnie Avery
Aug 31: Matt Hasselbeck
Sept 1: Curtis Painter
Sept 2: Dan Orlovsky
Sept 3: Kerry Collins
Sept 4: Adam Vinatieri
Sept 5: Matt Stover
Sept 7: Pat McAfee